October 15, 2012

We already know that he has his father's nose and his mother's chin.

At least, we think he does. The 3D ultrasound photo -- copies of which are currently plastered to every wall, cell phone, bulletin board, notebook cover and desktop background within a 43,897,621 mile radius -- reveal a shadowy elf-child, a sleeping pumpkin face tucked behind uterine latticework, dappled in manufactured daylight.  When I scrutinize the ultrasound, sometimes hourly, sometimes half-hourly, sometimes with a magnifying glass when no one else is around, I can definitely see the combined facial landscape of my firstborn child and the lovely young man she married. 

We already know he's going to be a big boy. At 35 weeks in utero, he already weighs seven pounds and change.

We already know that his name will be "Max."

(We already know that my grandparental nickname of choice will be "Gonka," which to *my* ear conveys the exact mix of goofy/loving dorkitude I hope to bring to my tenure as Distaff Grandmother.)

We know that his hair will most likely be brown.  We know that his nursery motif will be monkeys: small/brown/curly-tailed preferred, Curious George acceptable in small doses, sock monkeys permitted with a signed application and a $20 Transunion credit check.  We know which sports teams Max will likely be rooting for (Cal Bears, Atlanta Braves), which venue will probably serve as his public debut  (BZ's Sports Bar), which family members are more likely to step in and change an emergency poopy diaper (any of five doting grandparents, anyone with the word "Auntie" in front of her name) and which are not (Uncle Kyle).

These are some of the things we know already.

Here's what we don't know.  We don't know exactly when he's going to be landing on Planet Earth, for one thing.  That's probably the biggest "We Don't Know" at the moment.  The official due date is and has always been November 12th.  As this pregnancy has inched along, excruciating week by excruciating week, certain challenging circumstances have presented themselves  --  Jaymi's gestational diabetes, the amazing growth spurts Ultrasound Max continues to experience  --  which speak to the possibility of an earlier arrival.  Perhaps a MUCH earlier arrival. Privately, the Mommy-To-Be and the Gonka-To-Be are rooting for October 31st  ...  an idea the Papa-To-Be regards with only slightly less horror than if we'd suggested photoshopping Ultrasound Max into ZOMBIE Ultrasound Max.  Jaymi and I have even dubbed this month "Maxtober," in hopes of a Halloween Miracle.  

But no one knows for sure ...  the same way we won't know if he'll be a lefty or a rightie, if he'll prefer oranges to apples, if he'll have his Daddy's beautifully spooky green eyes or his Mama's warm chocolate brown. We'll just have to wait and see.

All of this seems pretty novel to this Soon-To-Be-Gonka, I must admit.  When I was pregnant with The Tots, back in the dark ages of the early-to-mid 1980's, I never had a clue what to expect. Their father and I chose not to learn their genders in advance.  The only one of the three who ever had an ultrasound photo taken was my middle child, Kacie, and even then it revealed nothing more than a puzzle of dark splotches and light splotches: to this day, I look at that antique Polaroid and still have no idea which end is up.  I listened to their heartbeats, an experience both thrilling and terrifying, but that was as close to an external 'connection' as we ever got.  They e
ach remained a Grand Mystery until the moment they appeared in the obsetrician's hands, blue and slippery and screaming holy hell.  

So the idea that we know so much about Max before he is even born ... that all we have to do is click a mouse and we can actually SEE his face  ...  is a wonder to me.  A lovely, weird, magical wonder.

But the things we do or don't know right now don't matter, anyway. Within a month, all of the worry and speculation and 'We Don't Knows" will be left in the dust, like so much leftover baby shower spinach dip.  What matters is that there is already a uniquely Max-shaped place in our hearts and our lives, ready to be filled by him. 

And if the pregnancy continues a bit longer than we hoped expected, and Maxtober passes without a new occupant for the monkey nursery?  No problem at all: we'll just start counting down the days to MAXGIVING.  

Ultrasound Max would like pretty great in a turkey hat, don't you think?

Happy Maxtober!

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~ nil bastardum carborundum ~

*i* am going to call him Gus.